The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Thursday that it has changed the names of five places that previously contained racist terms about Native American women.
The renamed sites are located in California, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, completing a year-long process to remove the historically offensive word “squaw” from geographic names across the country.
“Words matter, especially in our work to ensure that our nation’s public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. He called the word “damage“.
Haaland, who will take office in 2021, is the first Native American to lead a cabinet agency.
In September, the Ministry of the Interior announced a final vote on a proposal to rename nearly 650 sites containing the word. The agency conducted an additional review of seven locations, all of which were considered unincorporated locations. Five of them were replaced by Thursday’s notice.
In western North Dakota, members of a small community chose the new name Homesteaders Gap to explore local history.
Likewise, Tribal Chairman Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation welcomed the change, telling The Bismarck Tribune that the outcry has “really created a strong, strong feeling and opposition to the term.” In a statement to The Associated Press, he said it was a long time ago and he was “glad to see the insensitive and racially offensive name removed.”
But Joel Brown, a member of the McKenzie County Board of Commissioners, said many residents in the area feel strong opposition to the move. Brown, who is white, said he and others like the federal government to step in because “in general, we see them culturally and economically intact here.”
Although, Two other newly named sites are the California Central Valley community of Loiba Hill, meaning “woman,” proposed by the Pasquenta Band of Nomlaq Indians; and Yokuts Valley.
The others are Partridgebury, Tennessee and Lynn Creek, Texas.
It took a long time to make a decision. Between 1962 and 1974, the Ministry of the Interior ordered the replacement of place names with derogatory terms for blacks and Japanese.
Last year, officials changed the names of 28 places in Wisconsin to remove racial slurs, officials recommended changing the name of a Colorado mountain linked to a murder. Moreover, A federal governor named hundreds of peaks, lakes, rivers and other geographic features racist. ways of virginity. . condition. in the situation.